Enterprise Systems Power 100 6-10
6. Steve Ballmer
Big, bald and loud pretty much describes 45-year-oldSteve Ballmer, who hasn’t changed his style a bit since taking over as CEO ofMicrosoft last year. Following Bill Gates’ act can’t be easy, but Ballmer doesit with an outspoken style for which he’s well-known, whether berating theJustice Department for its pursuit of his company for antitrust violations ordefending Microsoft’s pricing and licensing practices. As the 25-year-oldcompany continues its quest to maintain desktop dominance in the midst of thetech market downslide; as it fights a growing interest in open source; and asit pushes deeper into the enterprise with its .NETtechnology and beefed-upservers, it will need every bit of Ballmer’s renowned spunk and passion.
7. Danny Lewin
(Founder & CTO, AkamaiTechnologies Inc.)
Responsible for directing research and development atAkamai, Lewin has the power to determine his company’s future in what willlikely be one of the most fiercely competitive IT markets over the next twoyears—content delivery. While a down economy has made companies reluctant totake on the expense of innovative technologies, analysts still see a hugemarket for solutions that speed the transmission of data over the Internet. IfLewin continues to drive innovation at Akamai, the Cambridge, Mass.-based firmcould be in position to reap the profits when demand starts to pick up in thisspace.
8. Linus Torvalds
(Initial Developer, Linuxoperating system)
Choice is good. Free is even better. Free, flexible andreliable is by far the best. He’s far from being a marketing mogul, yetTorvalds and his open source operating system continue to make inroads intocorporate computing rooms worldwide, giving major proprietary OSes a run fortheir, uh, money. While the open source movement has been brewing since the’70s, it didn’t take hold in the popular imagination until Torvalds’ Linuxoperating system gained industry momentum. As former proprietary-softwarecompanies like IBM lend developers to open-source Linux projects, it’s clearthat Linux is a catalyst for change. Today, Torvalds works as a programmer forTransmeta Corp. and aided the development of the code-morphing technology forits Crusoe chip. He still leads Linux development, announcing when new kernels areready for public consumption and stands as a spokesman for open source.
9. Larry Ellison
(Chairman & CEO, OracleCorp.)
If there’s a corporate character that can make BillGates look good, Larry Ellison is the guy. Sure, he’s rich, famous andsuccessful, but is that any excuse for being notoriously flamboyant,egotistical and obnoxious? But, something must be working. Oracle owns 40percent of the database market, and the company continues as the world’sleading supplier of information management software, despite its recent pricestock plunge along with the rest of the tech market. The departures of Ray Laneand Gary Bloom from top management aren’t good signs, and in fact are probablya result of Ellison’s reputed overbearing style. But as the database providerof the Internet, Oracle and its founder are positioned to make even more money.As Ellison once said, “If the Internet turns out not to be the future ofcomputing, we’re toast. But if it is, we’re golden.”
10. Andy Grove
(Co-founder & Chairman, Intel Corp.)
Andy Grove may have stepped down as Intel’s CEO, but hehasn’t stepped away from the company he co-founded—or from the industry hehelped shape. Grove has a strong background in semiconductors, but under hisleadership Intel positioned itself as a leader in the PC-related marketplacewith products like microprocessors, motherboards and chipsets. Grove’scatchphrase, “Only the paranoid survive,” echoes through Intel’s currentefforts to scale back on service products like Web-hosting in favor ofrefocusing on hardware and development, a move expected to carry the companythrough the IT recession. Possible downside: Just who gave the green light tothose Blue Man Group commercials?
The Top Five ITLeaders
Leaders No. 6-10
Leaders No. 11-20
Leaders No. 21-30
Leaders No. 31-40
Leaders No. 41-50
Leaders No. 51-75
Leaders No. 76-100